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Thoughts on ordinary and not so ordinary adventures in the life of one Mom

Friday, August 20, 2010

Our Neighborhood

       Our first order of business as we settle into our new home, is exploring our neighborhood.  We have an apartment on the 20th floor of a building on the Diamondhead side of Waikiki.

View from building "hallway"

        Although Waikiki is full of high rises, we are adjacent to a residential neighborhood which provides numerous advantages.   The first is having access to an actual grocery store, Safeway.   While most tourists end up shopping at ABC stores, a high priced convenience store located throughout Hawaii, we get to shop at the high priced Safeway.  In the two days we have spent here so far, we have already gained a greater appreciation for food.  With milk at over $5 a gallon, we don't throw out what's left after our cereal.  With bread at $4 a loaf, no more cutting off the crust.  It's about more than just expense, it's about waste, as we realize that every bit counts.
         Another advantage is that there is a library right across the street, the Waikiki-Kapahulu branch.  Compared to those in Phoenix and Scottsdale, it is nothing to write home about, but I will anyway. 

It reminds me of my neighborhood branch in Brooklyn, in that it is simple and quiet (at least while school is in session).  It has shelves along the outside walls, rectangular tables, and a lady with glasses that shushes you if you speak above a whisper.   For $10 you can get a visitor's library card that is good at any Hawaii library for 3 months.   I think it's the best bargain in Hawaii.  The librarian at the desk seemed genuinely happy to see us.  I think he'll be seeing a lot more of us.
         One more advantage is the school next door.  Although the kids are not going to school here, the sound of school bells and kids playing at recess reminds us of our goal here; not just to play and visit, but to live.  We are doing everyday things here,and living our lives.  I need a reminder of this when I begin to marvel at our must-do list of activities.  Luckily, we have a lot more than a week to get to them.
          Ok, now about the beach.  Yesterday, we went to the beach at about 7:00am, after waking up at 5:00am and doing some home learning.  About two blocks away, we entered the world of the tourist.  High rise hotels on every block, people handing out tour coupons, Restaurants galore, and every retail store imaginable (chain, luxury and touristy), and lots and lots of people, in bathing suits.   The beach is beautiful, and at 7:00am, not very crowded.  Alex, Nicki and I went boogie boarding just east of the wall.  I was shocked at Alex's enthusiasm for this activity.  For a kid who is cautious in the shallow end of a wave pool, he eagerly paddled out into the ocean to catch a wave.  As he likes to say, he's "more into it than anyone else".  Nicki held her own, being a little fish and all, but she was no match for the power of the ocean, as wave after wave knocked her on her butt and then again just as she got to her feet.  It never ends, they don't turn it off after 10 minutes of fun.  Steve and Joseph later joined us, Steve to body surf  himself and Joseph to keep us company without getting wet or sandy.
      The next days will bring more fun and everyday activities.  We are all happy to be here, but just like any adventure, it takes a while to get used to, especially the tiny apartment and non-stop togetherness  With a little more patience, I think we can all make the adjustment without killing each other.  Plus, we are determined to have fun!



  1. Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!